Plan B

I’m alone, retired. Live in a senior-citizen apartment building I found somehow where I don’t know anybody and everybody keeps to themselves. It’s peaceful there.

Last Saturday night, I lost my phone.

I didn’t notice the phone was missing until bedtime. All I could accomplish before morning was find an ATT store, online. The nearest one was at the mall.

I don’t drive. Uber, Lyft. You order them through apps on your phone..

Fortunately, the Mall is nearby. I can get there by cab, for cash. You can’t flag cabs on the street here, you have to order them. By phone.

If it was a weekday I could go into the building rental office and call a cab on their phone, but it was Sunday.

I read, I watched TV, I dozed off and on through the day and into the night. I figured I’d clear it up in the morning. But about 7:30 I fell deeply asleep. Didn’t wake up until after 4:30 pm. The rental office closes at 4.

I’m retired. Let it go until Tuesday.

#

The next afternoon, at the ATT store, I thought to ask, “Am I Insured?” Yes. This turned out to be such a good thing I resumed breathing, having not realized I had suspended the practise. Apparently, when I signed up for the service, I contracted to buy the iPhone for $50/month. The Contract still had fifteen months to run. Insurance would replace my phone free for only $159 – but not today. They’d send me a “reconditioned” phone by mail. I’d get it tomorrow, or the day after that, and then everything would be OK. In the meantime, the nice guy would sell me a temp phone for $40. Great. Everybody should have a second phone, against just this sort of emergency, anyway. He’d put it on my same phone number. Great!. People could still call me, and vice versa, and by tomorrow (or the day after) everything would be OK. Great.

The day after, then, I came home (via Uber) from grocery shopping to find a little cardboard box at my door, with my replacement phone in it. Everything was underway to being OK.

After I put the groceries away I followed all the instructions and soon had my reconditioned replacement phone restored from The Backup, even as I cooked some of those groceries for dinner. And after I ate, I called Customer Service to have my temporary phone disconnected from my number and my reconditioned replacement phone connected to that same phone number.

What phone are you talking to me on now? asked Customer Service.

We’re talking on my temporary phone.

And you want me to do what, again?

Carefully, I restated what I wanted done. As I did I searched my narration to see if I could find any point of ambiguity that could account for the Customer Service technician’s distraction. I could not.

You can’t be talking to me on a phone I’m disconnecting, sir.

I wouldn’t think so, no.

You have to be talking to me on a phone not associated with any activation or deactivation.

why do I have to be talking to you at all?

[sputtering] Because that’s the way it’s done.

You mean, you people, who own all the phones in the world, need me to buy a third phone for you to connect a replacement instrument to my phone number?

O no, not at all. You don’t have to own the phone. You can borrow a neighbor’s phone, or your mother’s. You can’t be talking to me on a phone I’m connecting or dis …

I’m sorry, this is too insanely stupid. I can’t deal with it tonight. I’m going to call you back in the morning.

I hung up.

The next morning, I called Customer Service again.

[bright sunny voice] As I understand it, you have a temp phone connected to your nunber, and your replacement phone is ready, and you want the temp phone disconnected and the replacement phone connected to your number. That it?

Yep.

Well, I can do that.

I knew you could.

She said she’d call mem back momentarily, and everything would be OK real soon.

Five minutes later, the temp phone rang. It was her.

OK, it’s all set. All we’ve got to do i …

The temp phone went dead.

I’m still waiting fot the replacement phone to ring.

#

It’s now a week later. A couple of calls from concerned friends hang in my voicemail like insects in amber, like filets in a meat locker.

I’m going to the rental office as soon as I post this. From there, I’ll go to the ATT Store. I expect that to settle this. Maybe I’ll update things when I return. Maybe not. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Frankly, I’m still deeply confused. Primal Natural Law states that The Phone Company turns phones off and on much like the God of Abraham began Genesis. “Let there be Service,” and there was Service.
The vision of an impotent ATT unable to function without my help makes me so stiff I can barely walk. I want to fuck every flip-phone in this area code, plow a furrow along the entire perimeter of Beinn Bhreagh Estate if not all Cape Breton.

Next, I expect to find the IRS asking me for a quarter so they can report some sidewalk peddler for inappropriate deductions.

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